I recently saw the following article featuring an interview with one of my favorite "slave catchers", Ward Connerly. Good ole Ward is determined to end affirmative action, because in Ward's world we just don't need it anymore. A-merry-ca is so beyond that.
Here is my man Ward sharing some of his thoughts with the Arizona Republic:
"Republic: Are we at a time in our nation when the playing field is level, providing equal opportunity to all? Or is there still racism working against certain individuals of certain ethnic groups?
Connerly: I don't think that we're at that ideal place where there is absolute equality. I'm not sure that we ever will be. I don't think that it should be the standard by which we decide whether the government should treat people as equals, however. . . . But I look around my country and I see that ... a multiracial male (Barack Obama) stands a very, very good chance of being the next president of the United States. To me, that says a lot about the country.
If we're willing to turn over the red box to someone, and we're willing to disregard their gender or where their ancestors came from or the color of their skin, that says to me we're probably willing to admit them into college without worrying about the color of their skin and we're probably willing to hire them without worrying about the color of their skin.
So, while we're not at the point where everything is now level - it's certainly not level for someone who is low-income Black, or from Mexico who doesn't speak good English and living in the low-income section of south central Los Angeles or Phoenix or wherever, it's not level for them - I think, for the most part, it's an economic problem.
And we need to do more dealing with this widening gap between the haves and have-nots. I'd like to see us do more, and ironically - maybe not ironically - the demise of race preferences in California has done more to benefit low-income people of different backgrounds than race preference ever did because now the university, through its comprehensive review system, is giving special attention to those who are faced with social-economic problems. Social-economic affirmative action, I support.
Republic: Are you concerned perhaps about some of the success of the initiatives is attributable to some of the voters who are racist or acting out in backlash for what they feel as being victims of reverse discrimination, whether real or imagined?
Connerly: Yeah, they are there, but I think that clearly they are in the minority. They're there. I'm always concerned about that, and I certainly want nothing to do with them.
The opposition has its monsters, also, who are saying, "Let's get even. It's our time. It's our turn. Let's get even." The way I reconcile that is, a broken clock is right twice a day. And if there are those who have foul motives but happen to agree with me but for the wrong reasons, they're still agreeing with the principle.
I have more confidence in the majority and the will of the majority than I do fear of that very small minority who are saying they support this because they want to retard the progress of people of color. I certainly don't run away from my belief because other people share that belief but for the wrong reasons. When you start looking at the motives of other people, you reach a point where you drive yourself crazy. . . . I once said to someone, "If the KKK supports this language, then God bless them." And then that became the headline: "Connerly says God bless the Klan."
What I was saying is I want everyone to believe in the idea that everyone should be treated equally. (If) you vote for this initiative, you're saying that you believe in it.
Republic: Have we reached racial advancements and milestones in this nation partly because of affirmative action? Would we be where we are today without affirmative action?
Connerly: I think I could make a strong case that we'd be further. I think that on the front end, affirmative action - race-based affirmative action - changed the culture in a way that would not have happened at that point without some sort of affirmative action. Lyndon Johnson's version of affirmative action, which came after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed, was sort of like taking a swimming pool that is filled with algae and throwing in a big dose of chlorine to get the algae out of there. You couldn't do it by introducing a speckling of chlorine in that pool, you've got to throw in a heavy dosage to get that algae out of there. That's what race-based affirmative action did originally.
But you don't keep throwing in the same dosage every month. If you do, then you don't want to go in that water. We've reached a point where we've gotten the algae out, now just leave it alone. Maybe put in a little here and there, maybe. . . . So I think that affirmative action has built in a certain dependency on the part of a segment of Black America that is a disease worse than the cure that we set out to achieve. If we had not gone with race-based affirmative action but had focused instead on getting rid of discrimination, I think that we would not have to unring the bell, if you will, of some of these other problems.
Republic: Is there the perception of someone of color or a female who is successful - say, a top manager of a company - that he or she is solely the beneficiary of affirmative action and thereby diminishing any efforts and achievement?
Connerly: Absolutely. In any area of public policy there is a point of diminishing returns. You especially see this in this area here. Affirmative action starts out to remove the barriers of discrimination, something that logically and obviously ought to have happened. . . . But then, there are some people - Black people, Latinos, women, quote, minorities - who do excel. They rise to the top.
But the paradigm that exists, that women and minorities are targeted for equal opportunity, that very paradigm begins to imperil their progress because they're marginalized by the perception that they are the products of affirmative action. . . .
The very system that is designed to provide equality becomes its own crippler because it marginalizes people. . . . The worst thing that they do, those people who say they are a proud product of affirmative action, is that they perpetuate that mind-set that if it were not for affirmative action, they would not be there. That's the point of diminishing returns that we've reached in this whole area. We marginalize and we retard the progress of those who do it on the natural. We reached this point of diminishing returns probably about 15 years ago.
Okay Ward obviously has some issues. But I do believe that affirmative action as it is used in schools, for instance, should not just consider the race of an individual, but their economic background and other factors as well. For instance, given certain criterias,a poor white applicant from Appalachia being raised in a single family home, should probably get preference over a black applicant from a wealthy family with both parents at home. So we shouldn't do away with affirmative action, we should expand it. Contrary to what Ward believes, A-merry-ca just isn't at that color blind state yet. We still have a glass ceiling in this country when it comes to the business world for women and minorities, and 3 in 10 Americans still have a racial bias towards blacks.
Those are the facts Ward, and doing away with affirmative action won't change them, it will only make them worse.